ERIC Number: EJ682098
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun-4
Development of School Students' Constructions of Biology and Physics. Research Report
Spall, Katie; Stanisstreet, Martin; Dickson, Dominic; Boyes, Edward
International Journal of Science Education, v26 n7 p787-803 Jun 2004
Studies exploring school students' views about science have not always distinguished between different branches of science. Here, the views of 1395 secondary school students aged 11-16 about physics and, as a science comparator, biology were determined using a closed-form questionnaire. Over the period of secondary schooling a decreasing proportion of students expressed a liking for physics, fewer thought it was interesting and more thought it was boring. These changes did not apply to biology. There was an increasing view that the study of physics, but not biology, required mathematical skills. Fewer students thought that physics, compared with biology, could contribute to the solution of medical or environmental problems. Suggestions that physics might offer good employment prospects did not influence students' liking of physics. Factor analysis suggested that the oldest group of students distinguished between physics and biology in terms of their general characteristics--to the detriment of physics.
Descriptors: Secondary School Students, Physics, Biology, Factor Analysis, Student Attitudes, Questionnaires, Mathematics Skills, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Primary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A